I need help! Can I open up sealed jars and re-process the contents? I didn't like the flavor

All jars are sealed properly, I just want my peach jalapeno preserves to be more spicy. Is it safe to open and dump all of the contents in a pot, and re cook them with more chilis? And then of course go through the whole canning process again with clean jars and new lids.

I made it about a month ago.

I just want to know if it is safe to do this!!

Emily Nordby


MrsWheelbarrow October 17, 2023
The National Center for Home Food Preservation says you can reprocess within 24 hours of the original processing. After that, it is not safe to do so. . The reason is that recooking the product, as well as adding additional ingredients, will change the density of the product (and may change the pH). Processing times are established based on the density of the product and the size of the jar — and how many minutes it will take to equalize the temperature in a water bath canner so that the product in the jar reaches 212degrees F.

With that in mind, you can always empty the jars and doctor the product in any way you wish, but you should freeze it or refrigerate for no more than a month. I hope this is helpful.
Neilymon December 12, 2023
I need to do about the same. Today I did a cherry Habanero jelly and it turned out to be too liquid. I want to do over tomorrow and add some pectin to thicken it. I will re-do it in the pressure cooker like today. Thank you
Missbrenda December 20, 2022
My jam is to sweet! Is it possible to recook the jam and add more fruit without any sugar?
thank you

L. W. September 30, 2015
If you jam is fine other than being not hot enough, give it as gifts and do not worry about re-processing. Your recipients may not be able to tolerate high chile heat--something to remember. And you can use this as a learning experience and make a note to add more chile in the future, or leave the chile seeds and veins in for more heat. I'd add ground red chile (cayenne) if I wanted more heat.

Also, realize that re-processing your jelly may reduce or cancel out the jell, as the effects of pectin can be reduced by heat.

If you still want to try, please read what is at these two links and then consider your decision:
Hard jam/jelly: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/stiff_jelly.html
Soft jam/jelly: http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_07/remake_soft_jelly.html
MrsWheelbarrow September 29, 2015
It is possible to reprocess, but only within 24 hours of the original processing.
ktr September 29, 2015
That's good to know. I had never heard that. May I ask why?
Jennie E. October 17, 2023
Why can't you reprocess jars? I'm seeing everywhere that you can't do it but I'm not seeing why you can't.
ktr September 26, 2015
You can reprocess them. Just make sure you use new lids and bring your preserves to a boil do they are hot when you put them in the jars. You can reprocess any canned goods but the contents will be softer after the second processing, so pickles don't reprocess well but jams and sauces aren't affected.
amysarah September 26, 2015
Someone with more expertise than me should weigh in, but I think it would be fine. I recently lost my canning virginity, and - very concerned about committing murder by marmalade - I researched what to do if the seal wasn't perfect, and reprocessing was recommended everywhere. I don't see why it wouldn't be ok, even just for flavor reasons.
Luella S. September 28, 2020
Mysteriously I was making jam that didn't call for shure jell? On way too much liquid ingredients and 5 cups of sugar is not going to do,so I added it not only once but twice ,the second time I had to re boil for the 2nd jars to fill. This is not a normal jam recipe so I had to make it happen next time my way.ðŸĪŠðŸ’–
sydney September 26, 2015
But, Emily, aren't the recipients going to be so touched by the effort and beauty of a gift of your homemade preserves (!) that at the end of the day the uber-precise flavouring (which is probably fabulous) will never be critiqued? Cheers, Zelda
Luella S. September 28, 2020
I have been canning for a long time since my children were young, now I am back in the swing,but my mind isn't, what happens if you can't find any new kids to replace the ones that didn't Pop! Back in our days we could go to the store and buy them in large amounts for a few dollars.
MrsWheelbarrow September 29, 2020
There is a lid shortage this year. They are very hard to find. Lids cannot be reused. Instead, you may have to consider freezing instead of
sydney September 26, 2015
(I realize I'm not answering the question, but I'm awfully curious why you wouldn't just chalk it up to experience and add your spice when you're going to use the preserves instead of going through all the trouble of redoing, recooking, re-canning.)
Emily N. September 26, 2015
You're totally right, but I'm intending on giving them away as Christmas gifts, so I want it to be good!
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